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A Princess Of Zamarra
A Saint Beckons
A Day In The Life
Rise Of The Night Creatures
New Day Rising
Bloodsworth Bayou
Golem Gauntlet
Shrine Of The Salamander
A Flame In The North
A Shadow In The North
Escape Neuburg Keep
Any Port In A Storm
Below Zero Point
Tales From The Bird Islands
The Ravages Of Fate
Nye's Song
A Knight's Trial
Return To G15-275
Devil's Flight
Above The Waves
The Curse Of Drumer
The Word Fell Silent
A Strange Week For King Melchion The Despicable
Sharkbait's Revenge
Tomb Of The Ancients
A Midwinter Carol
The Dead World
Waiting For The Light
Contractual Obligation
Garden Of Bones
The Hypertrout
The Golden Crate
In The Footsteps Of A Hero
Soul Tracker
Planet Of The Spiders
Beggars Of Blacksand
The Diamond Key
Wrong Way Go Back
Hunger Of The Wolf
Isle Of The Cyclops
The Cold Heart Of Chaos
The Black Lobster
Impudent Peasant!
Curse Of The Yeti
Bad Moon Rising
Riders Of The Storm
Bodies In The Docks
House Of Horror
Rebels Of The Dark Chasms
Midnight Deep
Lair Of The Troglodytes
The Trial Of Allibor's Tomb

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The Dead World

by Ulysses Ai

This is the sixth instalment in the series starting with Wrong Way Go Back, though it works as a standalone gamebook in its own right.

The Dead World Cover Illustration
Artwork © Ulysses Ai
You slowly awake, gradually becoming aware of the ache of your body. And it is hot; hot and dry. You open your eyes, but immediately know that is a mistake as harsh light stabs into the depths of your skull. You squeeze your eyes shut.

You feel someone step close to you. "You all right now?" he asks.

Unable to answer, you nod, and whoever it is moves on. You lie still, letting your other senses tell you about the surroundings. You are lying against something soft, but are propped up crookedly like a discarded keepsake. The intense heat makes you sweat profusely, your clothes already wet with perspiration. Occasionally the wind sends a hot gust washing over you, flinging grit against your face, sand rattling over hard surfaces nearby.

You are outside... but how? The last thing you recall, you were travelling through space, on your way home after fulfilling your contractual obligation to the Treemaids. You test your arms and legs, finding you can move. You seem fine except for a bruised chest.

Carefully, you open your eyes again. Squinting, you see a bright orange and black landscape of broken rocks extending to the horizon. Around you are the shattered remains of a ship's hull. Orange... An image flashes into your memory. A glimpse of an arid orange planet as the luxury transport tumbled helplessly through space, falling... As you lie there, you start to remember...

...after helping the treemaids once again, they gladly paid for your passage on a luxury transport ship back to Amorphonon 12. While nothing like the splendour of the Attila the Hon, it was nonetheless very easy to enjoy yourself...

...suddenly there was a shudder and the whole ship vibrated. You felt queasy as the world warped and buckled before snapping back into normality. A woman nearby vomited, while everyone started to mutter in confusion and alarm. "We've dropped back into normal space," one man said...

...everyone seemed to calm down. But not you. You have travelled in space long enough to know that that was a very abrupt transition from hyperspace. They must have turned off the hyperdrive to jerk the ship out of hyperspace as quickly as possible. The only reason why they would do that would be if there were an emergency of some sort. Remembering what happened one other time you were in hyperspace, you think you know what it is. They must have spotted the hypertrout bearing down on them and cut power to the hyperdrive to drop out of hyperspace as quickly as possible to avoid being devoured. The ship's captain suddenly makes an announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen. We were forced to drop out of hyperspace due to a... incident that has now been resolved. We apologise for the rough ride, and will be resuming travel as soon as possible. We will remain in normal space for the next two hours, so please enjoy the view...

...Lights started flashing orange, indicating a mild alert. But the interior of the ship seemed to take things more seriously as all hard surfaces retracted and air bags inflated to turn the interior of the ship into a soft capsule, as if expecting an impact...

...and here you are, crashed on the planet. You must have gone to an escape pod. There is no way anyone could have survived a ship falling from orbit.

You slowly get up, feeling unsteady on your feet. You are very thirsty, and wonder how long you have been out. Someone hands you a bottle of water, and you take it gratefully. It is one of the crew. But before you have drunk your fill, he takes the bottle back; gently, but firmly.

"Good to see you are on your feet," he says. He is a young man, not much older than you. "All of our supplies are rationed. We have sent out a distress call, but we don't know when help will come, or if they will be able to approach the planet safely."

"What happened?" you ask, your voice a croak.

"Some force grabbed the ship, dragged it down to the planet. We couldn't escape. We evacuated the ship, and the escape pods brought us here. But now we are stuck here."

"Where's here?" you ask.

The crewman shrugs. "I don't know. The hyperspace jump should have taken us across the Quarantine Expanse. We must be somewhere in the middle of that."

He moves on, and you stare at the dead land before you with trepidation. The Quarantine Expanse is an empty, featureless part of the galaxy, notable only for having a name. No one knows why it was called this, but a barren planet in an empty region of space is a good place to send the incurable and contagious.

You wonder how long you will have to wait here until help comes. And if anyone does come, will they suffer the same fate?

Additional Information
You start unarmed, but you may acquire weapons later. As usual, you can choose the one that you will use in battle by selecting in the list of possessions and clicking on USE.
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